Jeremiah Attaochu

Ravens Add OLB Jeremiah Attaochu

Jeremiah Attaochu worked out for the Ravens on Monday; the team has since added the veteran outside linebacker to its practice squad. Baltimore released cornerback T.J. Carrie to make room on its 16-man P-squad.

A veteran who has bounced around the league, Attaochu has been available since the Bears released him in June. The Ravens will bring him in days after signing Jason Pierre-Paul to their active roster.

This will be Attaochu’s fifth NFL team. The former Chargers second-round pick previously bounced from the Bolts to the Jets to the Broncos to the Bears. Intermittent production has followed, but Attaochu managed to collect a bit of money based on his last decent season. He posted five sacks off the bench for the 2020 Broncos, a team that did not have Von Miller throughout that campaign. After totaling 8.5 sacks in two seasons under Vic Fangio in Denver, the Bears gave Attaochu a two-year, $5.5MM deal to play behind Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn.

The Georgia Tech product, 29, did not tally a sack with the Bears last season. Though, Attaochu only played five games with Chicago; a torn pec sustained in October 2021 ended his season early. Justin Houston suffered a groin injury Sunday, limiting the starter to just six defensive snaps. The Ravens also have Tyus Bowser and David Ojabo out of the picture for the time being. Bowser cannot return until Week 5, while Ojabo — who suffered an Achilles tear preparing for the draft — is unlikely to debut until later this season.

JPP stands to take some heat off the starters. Brandon Copeland, who signed with Baltimore’s P-squad last week, played that role against the Patriots. Attaochu will join Copeland as stopgap insurance behind the team’s top trio soon. A ninth-year veteran, Carrie joined the Ravens’ taxi squad nearly two weeks ago.

Cardinals Audition CB Deandre Baker, LB Jeremiah Attaochu

Not long after Deandre Baker‘s Chiefs exit, the Cardinals brought him in for an audition. Both Baker and edge rusher Jeremiah Attaochu worked out for the Cards on Wednesday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

The Cardinals have a need at cornerback, and following Jeff Gladney‘s fatal car accident in May, Kliff Kingsbury said corner additions were on the radar. But the team has largely stood pat since Gladney’s tragic death.

Baker has not come especially close to justifying the Giants’ first-round investment. He lasted just one year in New York, with an armed robbery arrest leading to his quick Big Apple exit. Shortly after those charges were dropped, the Chiefs signed the 2019 Round 1 pick. But Baker did not carve out a steady role in Kansas City, playing just 256 defensive snaps in two seasons with the AFC West kingpins.

Attaochu, 29, has enjoyed a longer run of rotational work. The 2014 Chargers second-round pick spent the 2021 season with the Bears. While he did not tally any sacks in his Chicago season, he registered five in his second Broncos slate a year prior. The Bears released Attaochu in June.

Arizona let Chandler Jones walk in free agency, leading the two-time All-Pro to Las Vegas. The team did add two edge rushers in Round 3 — Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders — but did not replace Jones with a veteran. The team still has Markus Golden, Devon Kennard and Dennis Gardeck, however.

Bears Release Jeremiah Attaochu, Sign Mike Pennel

The Bears made a roster swap of eight-year veterans today, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, releasing linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu and signing defensive tackle Mike Pennel. Both defenders have spent their careers as role players, earning starts here and there without ever consistently serving as a starter on defense. 

Attaochu was a second-round pick for the Chargers back in 2014. He made an immediate impact in his NFL debut, recording a strip sack and a blocked punt. He had the best year of his career in his sophomore season. Attaochu started 12 games that year, recording a career-highs in sacks (6.0), tackles for loss (15.0), quarterback hits (17), and tackles (44 solo and 11 assisted). He added a forced fumble and one pass defensed for good measure. In his last season with the Chargers, Attaochu only started one game and was limited to eight appearances due to ankle and foot injuries.

Attaochu signed as a free agent with San Francisco but was released before the season started. He was quickly picked up by the Jets but was only used in a limited capacity recording 2.0 sacks in eleven games. The next offseason, Attaochu signed with the Chiefs as a free agent but, once again, was released on September 1st, before the season.

Attaochu stayed unsigned a bit longer this time, finally joining the Broncos in October of the 2019 NFL season. He did enough during his first year with the Broncos to get re-signed on another one-year deal. During his two-year tenure in Denver, Attaochu started ten games, recording 8.5 sacks, 11.0 tackles for loss, and 14 quarterback hits, also forcing and recovering one fumble a piece.

His resurgence in Denver led the Bears to sign Attaochu to a two-year deal last offseason. He played fairly limited snaps as a Bear in five games before suffering a pectoral tear that would sideline him for the rest of the season. By waiting to cut Attaochu after June 1, the Bears reduced their dead money over the next two years from $2.25MM to $1.05MM.

In a corresponding move, the Bears brought in the 31-year-old Pennel. After going undrafted in 2014, Pennel has stayed an impressive eight years in the league, starting as a bit of a reserve defensive lineman before evolving into more of a rotational contributor over the last five years of his career. Pennel has 16 starts over his career, along with 2.0 sacks and 176 total career tackles. He’ll likely compete with Khyiris Tonga for playing time behind Angelo Blackson and Justin Jones in Chicago.

Bears LB Jeremiah Attaochu Out For Season

The Bears will be without one of their second-string pass rushers the rest of the way. Jeremiah Attaochu suffered a torn pectoral muscle and is slated to be shut down for the season, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

Attaochu suffered the injury during the Bears’ Week 5 win over the Raiders. He had been a fairly frequent contributor off the Bears’ bench, playing 40% of the team’s defensive snaps thus far.

Chicago signed the former second-round pick this offseason, inking Attaochu to a two-year, $5.5MM deal to play behind starters Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn. A former Chargers draftee, Attaochu spent the past two years under ex-Chicago DC Vic Fangio in Denver. He recorded five sacks for a Broncos team that was without Von Miller last season. This made a Bears assimilation under ex-Fangio lieutenant Sean Desai easier.

Beyond the eighth-year edge rusher, the Bears have 2020 fifth-round pick Trevis Gipson as a rotational edge presence. With Attaochu headed to IR, Gipson will stand as the lone other outside rusher on Chicago’s 53-man roster beyond Mack and Quinn.

Bears To Sign Jeremiah Attaochu

The Bears are adding some pass-rushing help. Chicago has agreed to terms with free agent outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu, the team announced on Twitter.

A second-round pick of the Chargers back in 2014, Attaochu never quite lived up to his draft status and struggled with injuries during his time with the team. He did flash potential though, with a six-sack season in 2015. He struggled to find his footing for a bit after his four seasons with the Chargers, then found a new home with the Broncos in 2019. He had 3.5 sacks in 12 games that year, and was re-signed for a modest $1.5MM last offseason.

Financial terms weren’t immediately announced for this deal, although I’d be inclined to think he got a bit of a raise on last year’s salary after a solid campaign in Denver. In 13 games with the Broncos last year, he had five sacks and a forced fumble. Considering he only played about 38 percent of the defensive snaps, the five sacks are pretty solid.

West Rumors: Chargers, Cardinals, Armstead

In signing Chris Harris, the Chargers now employ three first-team All-Pros (Harris, Derwin James, Desmond King) and a second-team All-Pro (Casey Hayward) in their secondary. Harris resided as the NFL’s slot kingpin for many years, but the injury-depleted Broncos used him almost exclusively on the outside last season. The four-time Pro Bowler confirmed Tuesday the Chargers informed him he will be their primary slot defender, per Daniel Popper of The Athletic (on Twitter). For most of his Broncos career, Harris played outside in base sets and inside in sub-packages.

Harris’ Los Angeles arrival puts King in an interesting position. King has become a high-end slot player for the Bolts, earning All-Pro recognition for the role in 2018. Harris said (video link via Pro Football Focus; h/t Chargers Legion) earlier this offseason the Chargers planned to move King to safety, where he played at Iowa. The contract-year defender being a full-time safety would allow the Bolts to start their four All-Pro defensive backs, but Anthony Lynn has yet to indicate how the team’s new secondary will look.

Here is the latest from the West divisions:

  • On the subject of defensive alignments, the 49ers are not expected to make Arik Armstead a full-time defensive tackle despite trading DeForest Buckner and seeing fellow Super Bowl D-tackle starter Sheldon Day join him in Indianapolis. Armstead is expected to remain a base-downs defensive end and inside pass rusher, Matt Barrows of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Armstead has shown the ability to be an outside and inside pass rusher, leading the 49ers with 10 sacks last season.
  • Kliff Kingsbury‘s offense did not feature too much from the tight end position last season, though the Cardinals did extend Maxx Williams. Neither he nor Charles Clay reached 250 receiving yards in 2019. The Cardinals, however, are eyeing tight ends in this coming draft class, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com tweets. They had planned to bring in some for pre-draft workouts, but the NFL nixed those early in the process. This draft class is not viewed to be especially deep at tight end, however.
  • The Cardinals also are interested in Utah running back Zack Moss, according to Weinfuss (on Twitter). Moss already went through a FaceTime conversation with Cardinals running backs coach James Saxon, per Weinfuss. Moss ended the 2019 season as the Pac-12’s offensive player of the year, totaling 1,804 yards from scrimmage and 17 touchdowns as a senior.
  • Arizona’s Marcus Gilbert contract is not quite as lucrative as initially advertised. While it is worth up to $3.75MM, the veteran right tackle’s deal will be for the veteran minimum ($1.05MM, in Gilbert’s case), Howard Balzer of SI.com writes. The longtime Steelers starter will see just $150K guaranteed. Gilbert missed all of last season with an injury, one that severely limited him on the open market.
  • The Broncos are guaranteeing Jeremiah Attaochu $500K, per the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson (on Twitter). That includes $250K of his $1MM base salary. Attaochu will be expected to be a backup to Von Miller and Bradley Chubb.

Broncos To Re-Sign Jeremiah Attaochu

The Broncos will re-sign edge rusher Jeremiah Attaochu to a one-year deal, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Attaochu will earn $1.5MM, per Mike Klis of 9News.

A second-round pick in 2014, Attaochu hasn’t necessarily lived up to that draft billing, but he has carved out an NFL career that’s thus far lasted 61 games. After spending time with the Chargers, 49ers, Jets, and Chiefs, Attaochu latched on with Denver last October, and ended up appearing in 12 games and posting 3.5 sacks.

The Broncos boast one of the NFL’s best pass-rushing duos in Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, so Attaochu will return as strict depth. However, he’ll likely be the first man up if either Miller or Chubb goes down.

Broncos To Let Adam Gotsis Hit FA

Not too long ago, it seemed as if he Broncos and defensive lineman Adam Gotsis would be entering into a multi-year contract. But Gotsis struggled in 2019 after a promising 2018 campaign, and Mike Klis of 9News.com says Denver will let the 2016 second-rounder hit the open market (Twitter link).

Klis also confirmed that the surgery that ended Gotsis’ 2019 season prematurely was to repair Gotsis’ ACL, and that he may miss the first month of the 2020 season. So Gotsis will almost certainly need to settle for a one-year prove-it deal in an effort to rebuild his value, and it does not like such a deal will be coming from the Broncos.

In other Mile High news, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that the Broncos will not be bringing back linebacker Corey Nelson. Denver selected Nelson in the seventh round of the 2014 draft, and he entered his second tour of duty with the team when he signed a free agent pact last September. But his season ended after seven games due to a torn bicep.

Similarly, the Broncos are not planning to tender RFA corrner De’Vante Bausby, per Troy Renck of Denver7 (Twitter link). Bausby suffered a frightening neck injury in October that was ultimately diagnosed as a cervical sprain, but he has flashed some ability and is reportedly healthy, so he should find a new home at some point this spring.

Though they are preparing to part with Gotsis, Nelson, and Bausby, the Broncos are interested in bringing back linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu, as Klis notes in a separate tweet. In his first year with Denver in 2019, Attaochu started a career-high five games while recording 3.5 sacks, also a career best. However, it does not sound as though the Broncos will re-sign him prior to the opening of free agency and will instead wait until after the first wave of FAs have signed.

Chiefs Place Chad Henne On IR

The Chiefs carried Chad Henne onto their 53-man roster but will not have him at practice for at least six weeks. Henne will be placed on IR. Matt Moore took his place as Kansas City’s backup quarterback.

Additionally, the Chiefs re-signed Jeff Allen and released Jeremiah Attaochu. The Chiefs released Allen on Saturday. Their former second-round pick already had multiple stints on the roster; he’ll be back as a depth piece up front. The Chiefs signed Attaochu earlier this year, one of several new edge players brought in under DC Steve Spagnuolo.

Henne cannot return to the Chiefs’ active roster for at least eight weeks. The veteran passer recently underwent ankle surgery.

Moore and Patrick Mahomes are the only quarterbacks on Kansas City’s roster. Moore has not played since the 2017 season. The Chiefs, however, signed Kyle Shurmur to their practice squad. A rookie out of Vanderbilt, Shurmur is Giants HC Pat Shurmur’s son.

Chiefs To Sign Jeremiah Attaochu

The Chiefs will add another player to their edge rush mix, bringing in former Chargers and Jets pass rusher Jeremiah Attaochu, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

Attaochu joins Alex Okafor and Emmanuel Ogbah as new defensive ends in Kansas City’s post-Justin Houston/Dee Ford era. While Attaochu did have some success getting to quarterbacks in San Diego, he has not lived up to his second-round billing.

Registering six sacks for the 2015 Chargers, Attaochu has notched just four since. He collected two with the Jets, before his season ended in mid-December due to injury. Injuries also limited the Georgia Tech product to just four games in 2017.

Just more than a year ago, Attaochu caught on with the 49ers via one-year deal with $2.5MM guaranteed. Attaochu’s Chiefs contract likely does not include that much guaranteed, considering the 49ers cut the edge defender after their preseason slate.

The Chiefs are transitioning from their 3-4 look, which they used for 11 seasons, to Steve Spagnuolo‘s 4-3 defense. Its edge rush figures to be further augmented in the upcoming draft, when the Chiefs hold four picks in the first three rounds. But Attaochu, 26, stands to likely supply depth for the new-look edge corps — one that already houses recent second-round picks Breeland Speaks and Tanoh Kpassagnon.